- Sport’s streaming share drops to only 3% during sport’s drought
- Social media engagement up 30% across top-flight teams in England, Germany, Italy and Spain
- Serie A enjoys 63% engagement increase on social for second half of June
The coronavirus-enforced lockdown saw sports viewing in Europe hit historic lows during March and April, only for the return of live action to cause a 24 per cent increase in sports streaming viewing time, according to online video solutions firm Conviva.
The new streaming figure, which is taken from the end of June and compared to the baseline set in the first week of March, highlights the clamour among European consumers for live sports content. The return of soccer’s Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A helped sport streaming viewing times to recover to pre-Covid levels last month.
The Return of Sport in the Time of Coronavirus study from Conviva also shows that the streaming share that sport commanded plunged to just three per cent compared to entertainment’s 97 per cent at the height of the sport’s drought. As of June, however, sport has not only returned, it has exceeded the 30 per cent share typical of pre-Covid viewing.
While the dearth of live action prompted the massive downturn in sports streaming from March, in contrast, time spent streaming entertainment content scaled notable heights in the midst of ‘shelter-in-place’ orders, which were up 65 per cent in early April.
Conviva adds that this shift indicates how viewers are exchanging entertainment viewing with sport. News consumption also decreased slightly, having been up 180 per cent in mid-April, but remains durable with viewing time still double what it was before the pandemic, up 98 per cent at the end of June.
Streaming was not the only medium fans turned to for their sport fix, with social media also enjoying a boost as teams looked to stay connected with supporters. Engagement leapt to 30 per cent across all teams, including league accounts, within the Bundesliga, La Liga, the Premier League, and Serie A in the second half of June compared to the first half of the month. In the same period, video views increased by 82 per cent, videos posted increased by 31 per cent, and posts increased by 55 per cent for these accounts.
Italy’s Serie A led the way last month, having only returned to play on 20th June, as teams delivered 117 per cent more posts and 68 per cent more videos on average in the second half of June as compared to the first. This translated to a 289 per cent increase in views and a 63 per cent increase in engagements for the league.
The Premier League was runner-up in Conviva’s standings, with the English top flight having the second largest increase in posting frequency, with clubs increasing their posts by 61 per cent and videos by 40 per cent on average. This translated to a 33 per cent increase in video views and a 21 per cent increase in engagements.
‘If Europe is indicative of what the return of sport will look like worldwide, sport broadcasters should take solace as viewers can’t watch enough,’ Conviva noted. ‘Streaming and social media are both obvious winners in the return of sport, with more heights to reach as leagues around the world schedule returns in the coming months.’